The web's best personal finance advice.

These Are the 5 Absolute Worst Investments of 2018

SmartAsset - copyright 2018

Liz Smith | FEB 11, 2019

The Dow fell 5.6%, the S&P 500 was down 6.2%, the Nasdaq fell 4%, and we saw some of the biggest downswings since the Great Recession. Yes, 2018 was a tough year for stock investors.

Whether it was the result of a bad buyout, bankruptcy, or a botched IPO, check out five of the worst investments from last year, plus how to avoid poor investments in 2019. 

5 of the Worst Investments from 2018 

1. GE

Thomas Edison must have been rolling in his grave as his company’s shares lost more than half their value and were removed from the Dow Jones Industrial Average index. Poorly timed acquisitions, mounting debt, and a federal investigation into accounting practices have all been credited for the legacy brand’s sudden fall.

2. L Brands

This Ohio-based retailer is known for its subsidiaries: Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works. But new online competitors have started challenging these household names. Declining sales and decelerating growth meant big losses in 2018 few could predict. 

3. Sears

In some of the biggest (though not surprising) financial news of the year, Sears Holdings filed for bankruptcy in October. Sales have been plunging at both the namesake department store and its Kmart line of business for years. 

4. Coty

Beauty and makeup conglomerate Coty acquired 41 Procter & Gamble brands (including CoverGirl) for $12 billion in 2016. Unfortunately, the gamble hasn’t paid off just yet. 

5. IBM

After the Great Recession, IBM funded $83 billion worth of buybacks with cheap debt. IBM attempted to get back in the black by acquiring software company Red Hat for $34 billion – in cash. Turns out, the company paid a serious premium and is drowning in even more debt. 

The Simple Way to Avoid Bad Investments

Identifying smart investment choices is a skill best paired with a lot of expert strategy and a little bit of luck. A financial advisor can help you grow and protect your portfolio without putting your larger financial goals at risk.

An advisor will assess your financial situation holistically, share their investment expertise, and help you adjust your plan regularly based on stock performance. 

Chances are, there are several highly qualified financial advisors in your town. However, it can be daunting to choose one. 

This new tool makes it easy to find the right financial advisor for you. Now you can get matched with up to three local fiduciary advisors that have passed a rigorous screening process.

1. Simply enter your ZIP code below.

2. After you enter your ZIP code and answer a few questions about your financial goals, you can compare up to three top advisors local to you and decide who to work with.

3. Enjoy a better financial future!

Most Popular

Find Your Advisor

SmartAsset - copyright 2018

Fix the following errors: